So here we are, in Asheville, in our pajamas in our hotel room, as the Type A Mom Conference is going on downstairs (it’s basically a conference for moms who do this blogging thing as more of a business than a hobby). Room service is on the way. We’re taking the morning off. We all woke up at 8:40, thanks to all of us being short on sleep for the past couple of nights (the blackout curtains helped).
We left Brooklyn Thursday evening in the Volkswagen Touareg TDI lent to us by Volkswagen Lifestyle. I’ll do a separate post to review it, but I have to sheepishly admit that I love it (sheepishly because I’ve been running my mouth off for years about how much I hate SUVs). We got out of the city with no problem, and stopped for dinner a couple hours later at a Burger King and got back on the road. By the time we hit the DC area the kids were asleep and I was getting sleepy and wanted to find a motel ASAP, and as soon as I made that decision to get off the road for the night, we hit really bad construction traffic. It really sucked. Finally, after about half an hour of 10mph Oh-my-God-I’ve-got-to-slap-myself-repeatedly driving, we got to an exit with about a dozen motels. I pulled up to what I hoped would be the cheapest, looked up the number, and called. $129/night. Shit. I was hoping for, like, $50/night. All we were going to do was sleep, shower, and leave! We didn’t even really need clean, just…clean enough. Like, hair in the tub is OK, bedbugs are not. So, I did that thing I hate to do and asked the hotel employee for info on his competitors, and he pointed me towards a Super 8. Perfect. Cheap and dingy. And…nobody answering the phone. Damn. I was NOT going to wake the kids up to drag them into the lobby for nothing, and I was not going to leave them in the car and get my kids and a loaner vehicle stolen at the same time.
After driving around to a few more, I found one that offered us $89 for the night, and took it. We were exhausted. We slept like the dead for seven hours and then hit the breakfast buffet in our stinky clothes from the day before. We would have missed breakfast otherwise! And judging from the looks of the other families in the lounge, we weren’t the only ones.
We made great time all the way to Asheville, with just a brief stop for lunch and gas and another an hour later for bathroom. Being completely directionally challenged I had told the kids that below Virginia was North Carolina, so we were all a bit surprised to cross into Tennassee. But the last hour in the car was…unpleasant? Horrible? I wanted to throw both kids out of the sunroof? They had both been really fantastic for the rest of the drive, so I suppose it was due. But they started going at each other, tickling at first, which is annoying but fine with me as long as they’re not fighting. But it ALWAYS turns into fighting! By the time we actually reached Asheville, I had declared total silence in the back seat and had them sitting on their hands.
We drove up a hill to the resort, parked in front of the hotel, and immediately started getting questions about the Touareg from people who had been following my #TouaregTrip tweets. We checked in and moved the car and brought the luggage upstairs, and then spent the next hour wandering aimlessly with all three of us behaving badly – we were starving and cranky. The bright spot was when Fiona ran into my friend Maria Bailey in the lobby (Maria’s company Mom Select sponsored our tickets and gas), and pretty much attached herself to Maria. She followed Maria around until finally Maria had to tell her that she was going to the bar and Fiona couldn’t come!
The quest for dinner was on, and I had no plan. The smart move probably would have been to jump into the Touareg and find someplace family-friendly, but I didn’t want to leave the hotel. First we tried the hotel’s restaurant. We waited forever to look at a menu, and it was…fancy. So next we tried the bar, which was smoky. I totally forgot that there are still places in the world where you can smoke! Their menu wasn’t any better, but the bartender did mention that the restaurant had a kids’ menu. Ummmm…WHAT? Did the woman who showed us the menu not want us eating there? When I said that the menu didn’t look like it had anything for my kids, that was her cue to mention the kids’ menu! So we went back to the nice restaurant and took a seat. And I tried to prepare my tired brain to do battle with the kids in this quiet – almost silent – restaurant.
But then, something amazing happened. The kids settled right down. I could not have predicted this. There was no reason for it. But thank God. We had a very pleasant dinner, and then I let them visit the kids’ room for 15 minutes so I could say hi to some friends. Then bed. Actually, Jake let me talk him into staying up until 10:30 to watch the first half of Project Runway (he loves that show!). Then bed.
You can catch up on the day one pictures with my whrrl story:
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